Amid season launch

PokerStars celebrates Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs' partnership with fan experience at Union Station

Reading time 2:18 min

PokerStars and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) held a fan experience event at Union Station stadium to celebrate the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs' home opening games. The activation follows the regulation of the Ontario market earlier this year and saw both parties bring "their partnership to life" through giveaways, team mascot appearances, and fan interaction. 

The guest experience follows an agreement earlier this year through which Pokerstars and FanDuel, both part of Irish bookmaking group Flutter, partnered with MLSE, owner of the Leafs and the Raptors. The relationship is set to offer fans and players in Ontario a "powerful combination of entertainment through leading sports, poker, and casino gaming experiences," PokerStars said in a statement.

The parties said that there is "much more to come" in the coming months. "As the season progresses, PokerStars and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) will continue surprising and delighting fans, bringing them epic entertainment and unique opportunities around key moments and games," a press release stated.

Tom Warren, PokerStars Marketing Director, said: "We are always looking for ways to make the experience for our customers better, and as a leading gaming brand in the newly regulated Ontario market, we couldn't think of a better way to do this than by partnering with the Toronto teams."

"Our aim is for this partnership to be a win-win for our players and fans alike – making the experience of playing with PokerStars more Epic thanks to the partnership, and finding ways to make the fan experience of watching their teams better too. There's much to come in the next few weeks and months but for now, we want to wish the teams good luck for the new season – we are excited to be on board!" he added.

Jordan Vader, Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships, MLSE, commented: "We are thrilled to partner with Flutter Entertainment, a global leader and one of the most trusted operators in the sports betting industry."

"As the Online Gaming markets open in Ontario, we have worked hard to find partners who aligned with both our vision for innovation and our values including a shared commitment to responsible gaming. We look forward to working with Flutter and providing a platform for them to engage with the millions of 19+ Ontario residents who are fans of our teams," he further stated.

Flutter describes the partnership as a first-of-its-kind deal for the holding in North America, and is set to offer FanDuel and PokerStars an opportunity to showcase their brands to a large number of sports fans in Ontario, across Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and Toronto Argonauts, and to be featured prominently across physical and digital assets.

The deal follows the recent launch of Ontario’s online gaming market, which took place on April 4. The Canadian province -the largest jurisdiction in the country and the first to take bets in a legal private online market- now allows betting on casino games, sporting events, and other gambling activities through online websites and apps from companies licensed to run operations.

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